This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctor (Paperback)

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A brave account of the social and political forces that threaten a woman's right to choose, this emotionally affecting memoir from a doctor on the front lines of the abortion debate reveals what's really at stake in the Supreme Court

In America the reproductive justice debate is reaching a new pitch, with the Supreme Court weighted against women's choice and state legislatures passing bills to essentially outlaw the practice of abortion. With This Common Secret, Dr. Susan Wicklund chronicles her twenty-year career in the vanguard of the abortion war. Growing up in working-class rural Wisconsin, Susan made the painful decision to have an abortion at a young age. It was not until she became a doctor that she realized how many women shared her ordeal of an unwanted pregnancy...and how hidden this common experience remains.

Now, in this raw and riveting true story, Susan and the patients she's treated share the complex, anguished, and empowering emotions that drove their own choices. Hers is a calling that means sleeping on planes and commuting between clinics in different states--and that requires her to wear a bulletproof vest and to carry a .38 caliber revolver. This Common Secret reveals the truth about the reproductive health clinics that anti-abortion activists mischaracterize as damaging and unsafe. This intimate memoir explains how social stigma and restrictive legislation can isolate women who are facing difficult personal choices--and how we as a nation can, and must, support them.

About the Author


Susan Wicklund has worked in the field of women's reproductive health for more than twenty years. For much of that time she has been on the front lines of the abortion war, both as a doctor and as a spokeswoman for women's rights. She has been interviewed by numerous leading media outlets, including 60 Minutes and "Fresh Air."

Alan Kesselheim
is a full-time freelance writer from Bozeman, Montana. This Common Secret is his ninth book.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781586486471
ISBN-10: 1586486470
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication Date: December 30th, 2008
Pages: 288
Language: English